Trouble in July

A Novel

Erskine Caldwell

Foreword by Bryant Simon

Title Details

Pages: 272

Trim size: 5.500in x 8.500in



Pub Date: 03/01/1999

ISBN: 9-780-8203-2105-9

List Price: $23.95

Trouble in July

A Novel

Erskine Caldwell

Foreword by Bryant Simon

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  • Description
  • Reviews

Through the summer twilight in the Depression-era South, word begins to circulate of a black man accosting a white woman. In no time the awful forces of public opinion and political expediency goad the separate fears and frustrations of a small southern community into the single-mindedness of a mob.

Erskine Caldwell shows the lynching of Sonny Clark through many eyes. However, Caldwell reserves some of his most powerful passages for the few who truly held Clark's life in their hands but let it go: people like Sheriff Jeff McCurtain, who did nothing to disperse the mob; Harvey Glenn, who found Clark in hiding and turned him in; and Katy Barlow, who withdrew her false charge of rape only after Clark was dead.

[Caldwell] still has his ability to penetrate the strange, futile, and apparently self-destructive behavior of the submerged folk of the Deep South and to reach into the very core of their being.

New York Times Book Review

Caldwell's standards are the standards of perfection. . . . His calculated indifference is almost a sullenness to conceal his cold fury, his bitter scorn, of human obloquy.

Saturday Review of Literature

The South is a country of incredible extremes. . . . Caldwell is one of the best and fairest recorders of them.


In language as simple, melodious, and disarming as the drawl of his outlandish characters, Caldwell depicts the bucolic tenderness and almost genial brutality that overtakes a Southern community.

New Republic

[Trouble in July] stands on its own feet, a work of art. . . . Caldwell is always the disciplined artist.


About the Author/Editor

ERSKINE CALDWELL (1903-1987) was born in Newnan, Georgia. He became one of America's most widely read, prolific, and critically debated writers, with a literary output of more than sixty titles. At the time of his death, Caldwell's books had sold eighty million copies worldwide in more than forty languages. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1984.